No Cookies | Herald Sun A ZERO road toll in Victoria is achievable within the next 40 years, says the head of the Transport Accident Commission. Each of the 240 people lost on Victorian roads this year was more than just a number, TAC chief executive Joe Calafiore said. “Road safety is often spoken about in terms of data but it’s actually thousands of people getting affected by this,” he said. “We use the phrase ‘the ripple effect’ and it is very wide and it goes on for generations. “I look at the road trauma numbers this year and you can’t be anything other than disappointed as the vast majority of these cases are preventable.” As car technology advances, Mr Calafiore said a zero road toll by 2055 was a realistic aim. In 1971, 1061 people died on Victoria’s roads. More than 40 years later, despite there being four times more cars on the road, Victoria has managed to cut that number by 75 per cent. “If you had said in 1971 what we’re going to do over the next 40 years is add 2 million cars on our roads and extra pedestrians and you’re going to turn 1000 lives lost a year into 250, that would have been considered lunacy,” Mr Calafiore said. “Will it be zero by 2020? It won’t be, as much as we would like to say that. “Is a zero road toll realistic in our lifetime — absolutely.” Mr Calafiore said if every Victorian today drove a five-star-rated car with side-curtain airbags and ABS braking, it would knock a third off the annual road toll. Drivers were four times more likely to be killed on country roads than in the city, he said. While speed and alcohol remain the main factors in most fatal road crashes, some just arose from driver error. “Often the victims of road trauma are ordinary, hard-working Victorians that make a mistake on a country road and they pay for it with their life,” Mr Calafiore said. With Christmas fast approaching, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer asked people to spare a thought for the families of those who had died on Victoria’s roads. “There is no one someone won’t miss, and I challenge anyone who doesn’t agree to point out a family member they are willing to live without,” he said.